Centennial Park is a 14-acre linear park located in the heart of Rifle between the Park Avenue and Railroad Avenue residential neighborhoods. It connects the historic downtown on the south with the county fairgrounds on the north. It features a "walk through time" along Rifle Creek with interpretive areas that tell the city's story over the past century.
This community park will highlight the city's rich history, natural environment, and cultural diversity, and brings people together along Rifle Creek. It will provide open space and passive recreation opportunities for residents. Already, the park provides safe pedestrian connections over the creek to Rifle Middle School, an existing trail system, other city parks, and downtown. It serves the entire community by providing a space for larger gatherings, community events, and festivals.
Challenges of designing the park, located in a flood plain, included designing features to accommodate occasional flood waters and seasonal high flows from the creek and to allow for efficient maintenance and clean-up.
A historic timeline will follow the existing trail, including a wayside for each decade of Rifle's history from the early 1900s. The waysides will offer seating, shade, and interpretive signs that explain the city's history and provide a perspective of events then current in the world. The trail will weave together elements such as a fitness course, a sprayground, stage, amphitheater, wetlands, hemed play area, tot lot, a pond, picnic areas, shelters, and restrooms. A large central green, the Great Bowl, will provide space for community events and informal games like Frisbee. New municipal infrastructure includes six pedestrian bridges, parking lots, an irrigation pump station, and a dam on Rifle Creek. Environmental education components include outdoor classrooms and opportunities to teach the community about stream health, hydrology, native vegetation, and wildlife. Gateways to the park will be located at 3rd Street, 5th Street, and Railroad Avenue.